We went out for Valentine's Day last night, the first Valentine's Day in as long as I can remember upon which I've done anything conventionally romantic.
It wasn't my idea.
I suffer from congenital perversity, a kind of virulent allergy to supposed-tos. I like to run against the grain. This dates from babyhood, and made me a particularly endearing toddler. )The number of preschools I was kicked out of is larger than the number of children my parents had, which does not strike me as an accident.)
But my husband surprised me on this one, engaging a babysitter and making a dinner reservation before I had even clocked the holiday on the horizon. And who am I to interfere when a man wants to take me out for dinner? And so we went. The restaurant was full of couples in red. There was an overpriced prix fixe menu, attentive servers, and much flashing of wedding rings. I downed two cocktails and everything was delicious.
Swimming with the horde, doing what comes easy, taking the road more traveled by: It isn't always so bad. It's only well past preschool that I've begun to recognize perversity for the taskmistress she is, to acknowledge that fear of allowing others to shape your choices allows -not to put too fine a point on it- others to shape your choices.
I wore red, too. And a diamond ring.